One Day in 1307 A.D.:King Abubakari II

Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson (American, born 1940)

1985-92. Oil on canvas, 55 x 155 x 10 1/2". 2002.016.001

Aminah Robinson was trained at the Columbus College of Art and Design and the Ohio State University. She was greatly influenced by Columbus folk artist Elijah Pierce. “Elijah Pierce was my own mentor,” she says. “He was a great person, a great artist, and a person who walked with integrity and he passed on so much of that wisdom to me . . . . I’m knowledgeable about the ways in which he inspired me and we just genuinely liked to be around each other. There was just a connection there.” She has spent her life making works that document her own life and the life of her Columbus community and other communities she has visited. In her own words, “I wanted to tell the story that almost two hundred years before the voyage of Christopher Columbus, the Abubakari voyage, with a large fleet of vessels from West Africa, came to the Americas. Not only did Abubakari II, ruler of Mali, cross over the Atlantic, but his people made contact and became friends with the American Indians. They traded and shared each other’s ways . . . . When Abubakari departed for Africa, he left a lot of his children. A hundred years later, when Christopher Columbus decided to take a voyage to the Americas, he mentioned the fact that he wanted to meet the Africans in the Americas.”

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